The following guidelines are meant to help you with your preparations to present at the conference. Should you have additional questions after reading these guidelines, please contact the OLC Conference Management Team at

Promote Your Session

Let’s work together to create some buzz about your participation in this conference! Please promote your own presentation as well as the conference in general to your colleagues and social networks. Refer to our presenter promo kit page to help! The Twitter handle is @OLCToday and hashtag for this conference is #OLCInnovate. Feel free to create a custom hashtag for your own presentation as well. Presenters may indicate a custom hashtag in the presentation claiming process. We also suggest you post hashtags at the start of your session and encourage attendees to use them.

Presenter FAQ

The 2020 conference in its fifth year was an all-virtual event due to COVID-19 and had 5,500 registrants participating from nearly 500 institutions/organizations, representing all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 35 countries around the globe. Prior to this, the 2019 conference in its fourth year had an onsite attendance of 1,275 and a virtual attendance of 1000 from over 550+ institutions, 50 states & territories, and 13 countries.

Yes, all presenters are required to register in advance of the conference. Presenters must register and pay the registration fee no later than January 20, 2021 in order to avoid potential session cancelation. The registration fee table can be found on the registration page. Any presenter unable to register by January 20 should contact Christine Hinkley, Senior Director of Conferences, at with a description of the issue and the time frame you expect it to be resolved within.

As a non-profit, OLC does not cover any other conference-related expenses for presenters (including technology, registration fees, etc.) Presenters are responsible for ensuring they have adequate computers, headphones, microphones, etc., that are necessary for them to present virtually.

The final date presenters can submit edits to their abstracts or submit co-presenter information is January 20, 2021. Any changes submitted after that date will not may not be updated on the website and mobile app. Any changes to presenters, session descriptions, etc. must be submitted no later than January 20 to

Yes, all proposals go through a rigorous 3-phase review process. The first phase consists of a double-blind peer-review. The second phase is review and recommendation by the track chairs. The third phase is final review by the conference and program chairs and the OLC conference team.

Submission notifications will be emailed on November 9, 2020. Notifications are sent to all authors on each submission. Only the lead presenter should claim the session. All submissions are sent notification emails, regardless of acceptance status. Please be sure to “whitelist” emails from the domain. If you do not receive a notification email, please contact us at

No, OLC does not require a final paper submission. Your presentation is your final product. We require presenters to upload a final presentation by March 1, 2021 to the presenter’s session page so that it is available to conference attendees. Your presentation can be a link (ie. Prezi, SlideShare, VoiceThread, etc.) or a file upload (.pdf is recommended). This material, along with the full abstract and information about the authors, becomes part of the conference materials that remain on the website. You may also elect to submit a final paper (recommended for Research track sessions), should you have one, for consideration for publication in OLC’s Online Learning Journal. These are the stated guidelines for the journal: papers should be full papers, which include scientific rigor and data. The results presented should clearly advance our field by providing new information. Papers that are purely anecdotal or have no research underlayment will not be considered for publication. Papers are typically 10 to 20 pages printed and conform to the guidelines for publication found at All full paper submissions may be eligible for publication in the conference proceedings and/or special issue of the Online Learning Journal. These manuscripts must be original (not published or accepted in a journal or conference proceedings and currently not under consideration for publication elsewhere). Papers are blind reviewed.

OLC Innovate 2021 will be planned as a virtual conference. OLC’s policy is that the presenters must register for and attend the conference. OLC does not provide IT support or cover the cost of any additional technology required for virtual presenters.

Virtual to virtual presentations will take place over Zoom. Make certain you have a stable internet connection, a good headset with microphone, and minimize distractions. Test and practice in a free Zoom room if you do not have an institutional license. Plan to arrive in your session room 10-15 minutes ahead of time to connect with your session manager and session chair. For more preparation tips for your virtual to virtual presentation, please review the Virtual Presenter Checklist prepared by our Presenter Services team. 

The conference website will have a complete listing of sessions where you may find the date and time assigned for your presentation. After the schedule is published, you may search for your presentation date/time/room assignment. You may search a number of ways – by track, by presentation type, date, etc. – to find your presentation. You can also use the Presenter tab to search by your last name. There are advanced search filters in the “Search” tab that allow you to search by keyword, date, session type, track, audience, or special session type. Click on the link for your presentation and you will see the full description for your session. Please refer to the conference website if you are uncertain about your presentation type or length. It will be listed as part of your presentation description. Be sure to check back frequently as presentation rooms, dates, and times do change. We recommend that you plan to stay through the end of the conference.

OLC Innovate 2021 will follow a virtual model and have virtual-to-virtual presentations. All sessions offered in the virtual-to-virtual experience will be available for participants to watch live or on-demand.

Please plan to attend our presenter trainings for live streamed and virtual to virtual presentations.

Goals for Live Stream Sessions: 

  • Actively involve virtual attendees in the session so they feel as if they are participating in the conference.
  • Create an open dialog between virtual attendees, the session presenters, and session participants.

Tips for Designing Your Live Streamed Session: 

  • Create and upload an online worksheet or handout so audience can take notes
  • Be sure to upload your presentation and any additional materials so virtual attendees can access them quickly and easily
  • Add the OLC-provided session evaluation reminder slide to the beginning and end of your slide deck
  • Design with interaction in mind (Use interactive features (i.e. polling, Q&A, Twitter) at the beginning, middle and end interaction)
  • Plan content in small segments that allow for discussion breaks or interactivity

Working with Your Session Chair:

  • Arrive early to meet your Session Chair
  • Agree on a signal indicating questions from the virtual audience
  • Provide all necessary information to Session Chair (i.e. polling information) before session start
  • Indicate if you want signals regarding time

Delivering an Interactive, Live Streamed Session

  • Engage both audiences with your intro; ask questions, tell an interesting story
  • Plan breaks for questions or comments; seek input from virtual audience; plan for a potential time delay in responses from virtual audience (could be up to 45 seconds based on upload and download speeds)
  • Pay attention to signals from the Session Chair
  • Repeat questions from participants who do not use a microphone
  • Be conscientious of wearing a microphone. Your mic will pick up any side commentary with co-presenters that the online audience can hear
  • Save time at the end of the presentation for audience Q & A
  • Provide contact information for post-session questions
  • Thank your audience for their participation
  • Remind your audience to please complete the session evaluation form (found on the session page via mobile app & conference website)

Yes. Each session has a link on the website and in the mobile app that allows attendees to complete session evaluation forms online. All session evaluations will be collected, tabulated by the conference management team, and the results sent to you in the weeks following the conference. Keynote presentations will have their evaluations gathered in the online post-conference survey. Download our “Session Evaluation Reminder Slide” (.pptx) to insert at the beginning and end of your presentation to encourage attendees to complete evaluations for your session. All sessions evaluations are done through the conference mobile app or website.

 Each virtual-to-virtual session will have a session chair and an OLC staff member who will be available to assist if any technical issues may arise. At both the onsite and virtual-to-virtual conferences, the session chair will introduce the presentation to the audience, monitor the live stream, and collect virtual attendee questions to pose to the presenter(s) during Q & A.

Yes! We strongly encourage you to post your presentation and any support materials to your conference session page no later than March 1, 2021. This is important for your fellow conference attendees so they can be prepared for your session. Doing so is also important for those who may need the resources to assist important accessibility issues. OLC is unable to make copies of handouts.

We recommend creating your presentation in 16:9 format, but either 4:3 or 16:9 can be accommodated.

Yes! Let’s work together to create some buzz about your participation in this conference! Please promote your own presentation as well as the conference in general to your colleagues and social networks. Download the presenter promo kit to help! The Twitter handle is @OLCToday; the hashtag for this conference is #OLCInnovate. Feel free to create hashtag for your own presentation as well. Presenters may indicate a custom hashtag in the presentation claiming process. We also suggest you post hashtags at the start of your session and encourage attendees to use them.

It is becoming increasingly common for conference participants to document and disseminate the information shared in conference sessions through social media.  We are requesting that you help them (and us) capture, credit, and amplify your message more effectively and accurately. Here are some best practices and ideas for your consideration.

  • Include your Twitter handle and conference hashtag on each slide.  If you do not have a Twitter handle, consider including one of a research partner or affiliated program or institution. Doing so benefits you in several ways.  First, it provides session attendees with an easy way to give you credit for your ideas.  Second, it allows you to monitor what attendees are tweeting about your session.  If they quote you incorrectly, you have the opportunity to correct them or engage them in dialogue.  Finally, by having the information on each slide, it automatically provides a source and context when participants take pictures of your slides – even if they fail to caption the pictures on social media.

  • Be explicit (in advance) about things you don’t want shared beyond the room. If there are just a few ideas within your talk that are sensitive in nature, just make that clear to your audience; live tweeters are even more likely to honor your wishes than the non-tweeting conference goer, because if they share something inappropriate you are more likely to find out! Be advised that all session recordings will be available to paid conference attendees for 1 year post-conference.
  • Consider publishing your slides to a digital slide sharing service. Many presenters across disciplines are beginning to publish their slides – either in advance or immediately after –  to platforms such as  This allows attendees to revisit the presentation and reaches individuals who were unable to attend your session, thereby amplifying your message far beyond your session.  If you choose to publish your slides, you can include the link in your session page instead of your final presentation file (due March 1, 2021).
  • Use a microphone and repeat any audience questions into it so that all participants can engage. With sessions that are being live streamed in particular, virtual attendees will not be able to hear you or questions if they are not spoken into a microphone.

These presentations are asynchronous electronic poster sessions. With social distancing concerns top of mind, Discovery sessions will be fully virtual presentations that allow presenters to share their work, ideas, and innovations in a virtual presenter to virtual audience format. These sessions allow for a greater exchange of ideas and in-depth asynchronous conversations about important topics to the OLC community. 

  • Each presenter will prepare a digital presentation and upload to VoiceThread where audio comments can be added. This is essentially pre-recording your short presentation. 
  • Each accepted presenter will register as a virtual attendee.  
  • These Discovery Sessions should include a brief (10-15 minutes maximum, repeated to attendees over a 45 minute time period) electronic presentation to elicit ideas from your peers. The Discovery Sessions allow for interactive 1:1 discussions between presenters and attendees. In general, we recommend a short series of PowerPoint slides (no more than 5) that hit your key points and are visually appealing to draw attendees to your table. 
  • It is especially important for Discovery Session presenters to upload your presentation and any support materials (including handouts) to the conference repository prior to the conference. Questions on uploading to the repository can be emailed to OLC Conference Support at Any additional handouts should also be uploaded to the repository.  

Please check this page as updates and additional information is added as the conference approaches.